Minister of sports, Sunday Akinlabi Dare has come out with a down-to-earth post mortem of the female national team, Super Falcons’ failure to qualify for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, with a verdict that the squad now needs several far-reaching proactive efforts from the nation’s soccer governing body, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), megasportsarena.com gathered.
Speaking against the backdrop of the Falcons’ 1-1 draw at home with Cote d’Ivoire in the second leg of their Tokyo 2020 qualifier at Agege Stadium, Lagos, which meant the Nigerian team fell on away goals’ rule, having played goalless in the first leg, Dare posited that a quick, proper review and cross-examination is needed to prevent a repeat of the sad occurrence in future.
The former journalist and telecommunications expert added that all issues that led to the latest setback, which sees Nigeria’s female to make it to the Olympics’ women’s soccer event for the third edition running, need to be scrutinized properly, in order to come up with immediate steps that will help the players overcome the setback and quickly put a revival in motion.
He reckoned that the Falcons fought gallantly to try and get the chestnut out of the fire during Monday’s reverse fixture, but noted that several issues appeared to have affected the squad heading into both matches against the Ivoriens, of which he hinted that efforts will be taken to get to the root of those matters.
It was only last month that Dare had intervened in the alleged contractual issues between the NFF and the Falcons’ estranged Swedish coach, Thomas Dennerby, but the latter refused to return to his post, such that the minister has how suggested the possibility of an inquiry into the cause of the team’s exit, as well as circumstance surrounding the tactician’s alleged resignation.
Consequently, the minister took to social media to disclosed that he will dig into what led to the Falcons’ latest exit from the Olympics train, after Kapho Nani fired Clementine Toure’s side ahead in the 12th minute and, though Nigeria’s captain of the day, Asisat Oshoala levelled 16 minutes from half time, the 1-1 result on aggregate was not good enough to see Nigeria through, and the nation bowed out of the qualification series on the third consecutive attempt.
Dare posted: “Our Super Falcons, unfortunately, failed to secure a ticket to the Olympics even though they were gallant. This offers an opportunity to dig into what led to this failure and to take proactive steps for the future and Nigeria’s football administration.”